Stefan and Elena are at Scull Bar, where he’s helping her study. She’s grateful that he’s helping her keep her mind off of that whole thing where Damon said they can’t be friends and he doesn’t want to see her. Bonnie joins them, which surprises Elena; she thought Bonnie would be too distracted by what’s happening on the Other Side to be able to concentrate. She thinks Bonnie’s in denial. Bonnie says she’s just already accepted that the Other Side is going to collapse and she’s going to die. In that case, why bother studying at all? Elena refuses to lose Bonnie again, or anyone else on the Other Side, like Alaric and Sheila.
Bonnie says she’ll ask Liv if she has any ideas to save the Other Side, but the Travelers are a bigger problem right now. Stefan tells her that Damon’s taking care of that. Realizing he shouldn’t have mentioned his brother to Elena, Stefan backtracks and says he meant George. Elena explains to Bonnie that Damon never wants to see her again. Bonnie appears to not be the only person who’s in denial.
At Lockwood Landing, which is basically a frat house now, Jeremy and Matt are conducting an unsuccessful search for the Traveler’s knife. Damon arrives and tells Matt to invite him in. Matt says he can stay on the front porch; they can hear him fine there. Damon wants the Traveler’s knife, and he’s not happy when Matt says there’s a problem on that front. Jeremy explains that Tyler said he hid it in a piano, but it’s not there. Damon asks when they last talked to Tyler.
The Travelers have Tyler chained up in their new lair, just in case he emerges while his body is being possessed by a Passenger named Julian. Markos thinks they’re on the verge of being able to move to better, more permanent accommodations. He summons Sloan, then addresses the Travelers (who I imagine already know all this, so this is really for the audience). They’ve been roaming for 2,000 years because of a curse that keeps them from settling together. There’s a prophecy that says they can break the curse by gaining the power to undo magic. Sloan has volunteered for an experiment to see if the Travelers have what they need. Markos cuts Tyler’s wrist and tells Sloan to drink his blood. After she does, he slits her throat.
Damon calls Enzo to ask if he might know where Damon can find a Traveler. He’s figured out that Tyler has been hijacked by a Passenger. He invites Enzo to tag along as they go on a Traveler hunt (he doesn’t want to take “Tweedledee and Tweedledumber” with him). Enzo already has plans, though. As he arrives at Scull Bar, Bonnie starts to ask Liv for help dealing with the problems on the Other Side.
Enzo joins Stefan and Elena, saying he wants to chat. It’s about Maggie. She and Enzo “developed an attachment” while he was an Augustine vampire. She never got too close or took off her vervain bracelet, but she was kind. Enzo thought she must have ended up as a college professor with a happy family. But Sloan finally gave him the information he was looking for, just not in the form he was expecting. She gave him a picture of Maggie’s body. She died in Mystic Falls in 1960 when her head was removed from her body.
Stefan says he wasn’t a Ripper then, and though he’s sorry about Maggie, he had nothing to do with her death. Enzo expected that, so he calls Liv over and has her give Stefan and Elena magic migraines. He’s compelled a couple of guys to hold Luke hostage; if Liv doesn’t obey Enzo’s orders, they’ll kill her twin. Enzo lets Liv ease off, then asks Stefan if he’s ready to tell the truth about Maggie’s death.
Enzo grabs a drink (alcohol, not blood) while reminiscing about his time with Maggie. Luke tells Liv to get Enzo to let him take her place, but she knows that’s not an option. Enzo has him escorted out so he and Liv can’t try to team up. Then he has someone tie Stefan and Elena up with vervain ropes. There are other students in the bar, but they ignore what’s going on. Enzo explains that he compelled them all before Stefan and Elena got there. He’ll let them go once Stefan admits that he killed Maggie. Stefan, however, says he doesn’t know anything about her.
Enzo reads an entry from her journal from the 1950s, after she left the Augustine Society. While moving to “the city” (Richmond, I guess) in 1958, she found some old records about Enzo. She went back to Whitmore and learned about the fire that had supposedly killed him. Stefan insists that he wasn’t killing anyone in 1960.
Apparently Enzo didn’t think Bonnie would be a threat because he hasn’t bothered to tie her up or take her phone. He catches her trying to contact Damon and calls his murder buddy himself. Damon’s back at Vamp Villa, having been unable to find a Traveler or get any help from “the Hardy Boys.” Enzo asks him to find Stefan’s journals and look up an entry from November 8th, 1960. But Stefan burned his journals (“he was in a mood”), so that’s not an option.
Enzo asks how Damon’s doing in the wake of exiling Elena from his life. Damon wonders how he knows that, then guesses that Enzo is with her and Stefan. Enzo says it won’t be for long; he’s probably going to kill one of them for revenge. “You have your murder voice on,” Damon notes, asking what the problem is. Enzo tells him that Stefan killed Maggie, then says he has to go – he has vengeance to enact.
Enzo asks if there are any history majors in the bar, then remembers that he compelled them all not to move or speak. He uses his phone to look up the day of Maggie’s death. It happened to be the same night John F. Kennedy was elected president.
November 8th, 1960: Stefan is in Mystic Falls, following a woman downtown. His insistence that he wasn’t a Ripper then checks out, but he’s not completely on the wagon, as he’s still practicing snatch-eat-erase. Maggie catches him and admires his impulse control. She knows who he is, thanks to his connection to Damon, whom she’s been trying to find for two years in hopes that he’ll know where Enzo is. Stefan advises her to stay away from Damon, who’s a monster. Maggie says that works out well for her – she wants to kill him. If he’s really a monster, she’d be doing the world a favor. Stefan says she’s not doing herself any favors (weak, Stef), then vamps out and attacks her.
Present: Stefan says he didn’t kill Maggie; he just wanted to scare her into leaving town. He has no reason to lie to Enzo. Enzo grabs Bonnie and threatens to kill her if Stefan doesn’t tell the truth. Then he wonders what would happen if she actually died. Stefan gives in and says he killed Maggie.
Enzo lets Bonnie go and tells Liv to take her to the second floor of the bar, which looks down over the main room. Bonnie tells Liv she can stop pretending she’s a worried hostage like the rest of them. If Enzo kills Stefan or Elena, the Travelers won’t be able to use their blood, and the witches win. Liv has no reason to want the doppelgangers to stay alive.
Downstairs, Enzo breaks a chair and throws a piece of wood into Stefan’s side. Meanwhile, Damon tries to call Caroline, but she doesn’t answer because she’s not in this episode. He’s with Liz, having asked for crime records from November of 1960. She found a file on Maggie’s death, which lists her as the suspected victim of a serial killer. When Damon sees the picture of her body, he immediately solves that cold case. Stefan didn’t kill her – Damon did.
1950: Maggie wants to save Enzo, and the only way she can think of to do that is to become a vampire. I’m not sure of her logic. Enzo offers her his blood, but when she gets close enough to drink it, he rips off her vervain bracelet and compels her to leave the Augustine Society and forget that he ever existed.
Present: Enzo shoves the stake further into Stefan’s side. Bonnie’s annoyed that Liv pretended to be a newbie witch when she was actually more powerful than Bonnie. Liv says it’s her and Luke’s job to protect Stefan and Elena. Well, you guys sure are doing a great job! Bonnie asks if their coven knows the Other Side is falling apart. They must know a way to stop it.
Downstairs, as Enzo is threatening Stefan with more torture, Damon arrives. He tells Enzo to release the compelled hostages. Enzo thinks Damon should be supportive of his desire to get revenge for the loss of the only person who kept him going while he was in captivity. Damon can relate, but Maggie’s gone, so this is pointless. He turns his attention to Stefan and Elena, asking if they’re study buddies now. She mouths, “What are you doing?” at him and he shrugs. Damon confesses that he met Maggie but didn’t know who she was.
November 8th, 1960: Damon got a message at the boarding house about a woman wanting to buy him a drink. He meets Maggie in the town square as some Mystic Falls residents watch the election results through the window of an electronics store. Maggie tells Damon she wants to interview him for an article about the fire at Whitmore House two years earlier. He speaks of it a little too casually for her tastes, and he explains that he has a switch in his brain that he can flick when he doesn’t want to feel. “You really are a monster,” she says, raising a syringe of vervain to inject him.
Damon recognizes the Augustine symbol on the syringe and is pleased that Maggie saved him a trip. He’s had to hunt down other Augustine employees on his own. He chokes her as the election results come in and the residents applaud. Damon holds Maggie up in the air with one hand, then squeezes until her head detaches. He puts it back with her body on the ground, Stefan-style.
Present: Damon tells Enzo that Maggie didn’t stand a chance without being able to inject him with vervain. Stefan’s not happy that Damon framed him for her murder. Damon explains that he was mad that Stefan didn’t notice that he was gone for five years. He tells Enzo that he didn’t kill Maggie to hurt him – he did it because his humanity was off. Enzo can get revenge on Damon however he wants, but he needs to leave everyone else out of it. Fighting back tears, Enzo says he doesn’t want to hate Damon. If he does, he’ll have nothing left.
There’s another option, though. Enzo closes his eyes and remembers all he’s been through – saying goodbye to Maggie, being abandoned by Damon, and Damon revealing that he flipped his switch so he could leave Enzo to die. Damon tries to stop him but it’s too late. Enzo has flipped his own switch.
Tyler emerges in his body as Sloan wakes up in transition. Markos gives her a bag of blood so she can fully become a vampire. He tells the Travelers that vampirism came from witch magic, and the prophecy says doppelganger blood will undo that magic. He pours the last of Stefan and Elena’s blood into a cup and chants something as Sloan drinks it. Tyler just sits nearby, confused (but smart enough not to let anyone know he’s himself, not Julian).
Back at Scull Bar, Enzo toasts to Maggie, for whom he no longer feels anything. Damon tries to talk him into going on a road trip while he secretly slips Stefan a piece of broken glass so he can cut through his and Elena’s ropes. Enzo releases the compelled hostages, who will believe they spent the day studying. No word on what will happen when they go to take their finals and realize they didn’t review everything.
Enzo bites Liv, then jams a broken bottle in Damon’s neck when Damon tries to attack him. Stefan has gotten free of his ropes, and he takes a flying leap at Enzo. Enzo throws vervain at him, then zooms off with Elena. Damon tells Stefan to stay back and heal Liv while he goes to deal with Enzo. Stefan is sure Enzo will kill Elena to hurt Damon, and he warns that Damon won’t be able to save him. Damon leaves, and after feeding Liv his blood, Stefan goes after him.
Damon leaves Enzo a message trying to convince him not to hurt Elena. Enzo takes Elena to Whitmore, where she tells him that she’s been where he is and he’s just buying time until he has to face his emotions. He breaks a sign on the quad so he can use the wood to stake her, but she manages to grab him, wrapping her vervain ropes around his neck. He breaks her neck, but before he can do any more harm, Stefan finds him.
While the two fight each other, Liv asks Bonnie to call Luke and make sure he’s okay. Bonnie already has, and he’s fine. Liv tells her that she needs to say goodbye to her friends. The Other Side is going to break like any other spell. It’s like an equation – if one component is removed, it can’t stay together. Markos’ return set the wheels in motion. Bonnie thinks there’s a loophole or sacrifice, something that will fix this. Liv encourages her to tell Jeremy that he’s going to lose her.
Damon finds Elena alone and unconscious on the quad and takes her to her dorm. Enzo and Stefan continue their fight elsewhere on campus, but Enzo plans to end it by punching a hole in a car’s gas tank and setting off an explosion with a lighter that belonged to Maggie. He hopes she’s not watching from wherever she is. “Shall we burn together, you and I?” he asks Stefan, igniting the lighter. “Perhaps just you.”
Stefan reaches into Enzo’s chest and grabs his heart. He notes that Damon sees something good in Enzo. Enzo asks if Stefan sees anything in him that can be redeemed. No, not with his humanity off. He won’t stop until he kills Damon. Enzo decides to get one final act of revenge: He pulls back, forcing Stefan to pull out his heart. Now Stefan will have to tell Damon that he killed Enzo.
Stefan takes Enzo’s phone and listens to the message Damon left him. Damon takes Elena to the Super Suite and puts her on her bed. He gets a text from “Enzo” saying he’s leaving the country. Damon strokes Elena’s cheek, then zooms out the window just as she wakes up.
Later, Stefan goes to the Super Suite to check in with Elena. She’s okay, though she’s not sure how she got home. He tells her he killed Enzo and doesn’t want Damon to know. He’s going to let Damon think that Enzo left the country. Elena is reluctant to lie, but Stefan points out that they just got Damon back. Knowing that Enzo’s dead would destroy him.
At Lockwood Landing, Jeremy and Matt tell Bonnie that they think Tyler’s with the Travelers. Also, they’ve stayed in all day because Damon ordered them not to leave. Bonnie asks to talk to Jeremy alone, but instead of telling him that she might be a goner because of the collapse of the Other Side, she says Liv might know a way to save her.
Stefan calls Bonnie to let her in on the Enzo secret just as his spirit appears to her to cross over. Bonnie keeps a poker face, telling Jeremy that someone’s there to pass through but not saying who. Enzo says she’ll see him again: “Did I mention how good I am at revenge?”
The Travelers chant around Sloan, who wakes up human again. The doppelganger blood stripped away the magic that made her a vampire. Markos tells the Travelers that they can undo the magic in Mystic Falls and the curse that keeps them from finding a home. Sloan won’t be able to join them, though. When the blood took away her vampirism, it took away the thing keeping her alive. It reverted it to the state she was in when she died, i.e., with a slit throat. Any vampire who tries to live in the Travelers’ new home will face the same fate. Markos says they’re almost ready to seize Mystic Falls for themselves. They’ll just need a bunch of doppelganger blood first.
Stefan goes home, where Damon tells him he knows it’s his fault that Enzo messed with all their lives, and he’ll fix it. Since Enzo was there for Damon in a difficult time, Damon will do the same for him. Stefan tells him that Elena’s okay, and Damon reveals that he’s the one who got her home. He didn’t bother to take credit because there’s no point.
Stefan tells him that what Enzo did today wasn’t Damon’s fault. Damon disagrees. Stefan advises him to distance himself from Enzo; he’s not Damon’s responsibility. Damon isn’t sure if Stefan thinks he’s the only one who can play hero or if he doesn’t believe Damon’s up to the job. Stefan tells him that Enzo isn’t worth saving. Damon disagrees again.
He spent five years in a cell angry at Stefan for not saving him, and Enzo always talked him down. He reminded Damon that he had family, which Enzo didn’t. Enzo was jealous that Damon had a brother, no matter how often Stefan failed him. He made Damon remember that he had people outside who were worth holding on to his humanity for. Every time Damon wanted to give up on his brother, Enzo stopped him from hating Stefan. Damon owes him for that, and so does Stefan.
Enzo’s ghost appears in the room and says it’s too late to make amends: “You know me – never let go of a good vendetta. And this one is just getting started.”
Keep in mind: Doppelganger blood undoes spirit magic, leaving a supernatural being in the condition they were in when they died and became supernatural.
Etc.: Raise your hand if you care even the slightest bit about Enzo’s backstory. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I love the tiny bit of resistance Matt puts up against Damon by not inviting him into Lockwood Landing. It doesn’t do much, but it bugs Damon, and really, that’s enough.
Can we stop with the prophecies?
Har har to the person who chose the song “Locked in a Cage” for a flashback to Enzo’s Augustine days.
How did Damon expect Stefan to know he was gone for five years when they weren’t in touch from 1942 to 1994?
I know I give Enzo a lot of crap (and I promise that won’t last), but Michael Malarkey is really good in this episode.